Advanced Energy Assists Cummins in Achieving Superior Energy Performance Certification

By Kristi Brodd | May 5, 2016

Cummins Energy TeamCummins set a goal to improve energy performance and reduce greenhouse gas emissions at the Rocky Mount, NC plant as part of its corporate energy and environmental goals. See how the Superior Energy Performance program and Advanced Energy helped Cummins achieve these results.

In partnership with the U.S. Council for Energy Efficient Manufacturing (U.S. CEEM), the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) created the Superior Energy Performance (SEP) program to help drive “systemic energy performance improvement across the U.S. manufacturing and commercial building sectors” in order to significantly reduce energy use and carbon emissions. The SEP program provides the guidance, tools and protocols needed to help companies achieve more sustained savings from ISO 50001, an energy management system (EnMS) from the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

Cummins, a global leader in the design, manufacture, distribution and service of natural gas and diesel engines and related technologies, chose to implement an EnMS via ISO 50001 and SEP.  There were multiple reasons for this choice. First, the location of the Rocky Mount, NC plant accounts for 10% of energy usage within the entire global company, opening up the door for significant energy saving potential. The company also aimed to improve their environmental impact and add value throughout their supply chain process, all benefits that help the company’s bottom line as well as expand the global opinion of the company.

Together with six other manufacturing companies, Cummins participated in the DOE SEP Northeast Demonstration, an extension of the SEP program that provided participating facilities with training and support by regional energy management experts. The demonstration was funded by DOE and technically supported by the Georgia Tech Enterprise Innovation Institute. Cummins selected Advanced Energy as their coach to help develop a compliant EnMS.  Dominion Power, the Cummins plant electrical utility, provided the funding for Advanced Energy to consult for Cummins.

As part of the DOE SEP Northeast Demonstration program, Cummins received training and support in the form of three, one-week training sessions, which progressively moved the company closer to achieving SEP/ISO 50001 certification. Advanced Energy attended all three phases of the training with Cummins and provided energy insight, technical support and general consulting on energy matters throughout each phase. In addition to training support, Advanced Energy also provided the following support:

  • Attended regular check-in calls with Cummins and the DOE.
  • Assisted with the initial energy review of the Cummins plant processes and facilities.
  • Assisted with the development of the Cummins energy baseline.
  • Reviewed energy projects along the way.
  • Provided a detailed review of the Cummins energy linear regression model for accuracy and statistical validity to ensure proper accounting of energy savings.

In October 2013, the Cummins Rocky Mount plant achieved both the ISO 50001 certification and Superior Energy Performance certification at the Gold Level. Implementing the EnMS helps the company save 99.1 billion Btu of source energy each year and lowers the cost of operating the plant by $716,000. The initial $248,000 investment was paid back to the company within 11 months and energy performance improved 12.6% over three years. Looking ahead, Cummins is planning to implement the same certification at three additional facilities in Indiana, New York and Minnesota.

Advanced Energy was a key partner in assisting Cummins with this outstanding energy achievement. For more information on how your organization can achieve ISO 50001/SEP certification, please contact Michael Stowe at mstowe@advancedenergy.org or call (919) 857-9043.

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